Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud is a really cute book that teaches children what it means to fill a bucket. To fill someones bucket means to be nice to them and then when you are mean to them you can take away from the bucket. I think this is a GREAT book to have in the classroom because it tells children in a fun way that we need to be nice to people. It also teaches children that we don't want to be mean to others. I believe that giving children the visual of a bucket that they can think about throughout the day is a great way to get them to fully grasp this concept of being nice and "filling a bucket"! If I were to use this book in my classroom I would either have the children sort through different actions and split them up into "filling a bucket" or "being a bucket dipper". I also think it would be cute to have little paper buckets tapped on the students desks throughout the week and each time I see them do something nice or bad I would either slip a little star in the bucket or take some away! I think this book is going to the top of my list of books that will for sure be in my classroom!
Reading Level: K
Lexile Level: 710L
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf is a sweet story about a little bull who did not like to do what all the other bulls did but he liked to sit alone and smell the flowers. As the story progresses Ferdinand is picked to go to the Bull Fights in Madrid and when he gets in to the arena he just sits and smells the flowers. In the end it says that Ferdinand was happy because he was doing what he loved. I believe that this story teaches children that they do not have to like or do the same things as everyone around them, they just need to do what makes them happy. I think this is an important lesson to teach our students, that they need to find what they love and that is what they need to continue to do throughout their life! If I were to use this book in my classroom I would either use it as a book to teach about the tradition of the bull fights in Spain because I think this book does a great job of explaining the major components. If I did not do that I would ask the students to think about what makes them most happy in life and then get them to write a letter to their parents explaining what it is that makes them happy and why that makes them happy.
Reading Level: K-2
Lexile Level: 830L
Elmer by David McKee is a fun book about an Elephant named Elmer. Elmer is not the same color as all the other elephants, he has a lot of different colors! As the story progresses the reader learns that Elmer wants to be the same color as everyone else but all of his elephant friends love him the way he is! I think that this would be a great book to have in my classroom because it teaches children to be themselves and that your friends will still love you even when you are different. In a world that is full of insecure people I think this would be the perfect book to start teaching at an early age that different is better! If I used this book in the classroom I would link it to a lesson about diversity and I would have different stations (like paint, paper, etc.) that the children could use to make their own Elmer. I think you could also relate it to elephants and do a KWL chart and then make your own elephant!
Reading Level: K-2
Lexile Level: 500 L
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Mellon by Patty Lovell is a very fun and colorful book that children will love! It teaches children that it always works out for the best when they just embrace who they are and do not listen to what other people say about them. This book also shows children that they can be brave and stand up to bullies. I think that the colors and the fun pictures that are found all throughout the book will make it very easy to keep children interested in the story. If I were to teach a lesson with this book I would relate the lesson back to being yourself and I would have students draw pictures of themselves and write things next to the picture that are unique about them. I would then allow students to share if they wanted to!
Reading Level: K-2
Lexile Level: 560L